When you're cutting calories to lose weight, it's vital to make the most of your food choices. Foods rich in antioxidants deserve special attention - not only do they help fight disease, they are loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Whether it's pomegranates, green tea or whole grains, this week's meal plan is packed with antioxidants, including vitamins C, A and E, as well as selenium. This sample weight-loss meal plan is intended for an overweight, moderately active healthy woman. People with higher energy needs, including men who are also looking to lose weight, should follow the bigger appetite option. For best results, drink at least two to three litres of water every day (or 30-35ml per kilogram of body weight), exercise regularly and evenly space your meals throughout the day. Anyone attempting this meal plan should first consult with his or her doctor.
Breakfast Breakfast wrap: half a small (15cm) wholewheat Arabic bread stuffed with one sliced banana and 30ml almond butter or peanut butter and 250ml low fat milk. Snack 250ml low-fat yogurt with 125ml blueberries. Green tea. Lunch Tuna salad: 125ml wholewheat pasta (such as Barilla Wholewheat) tossed with 60ml water-packed tuna, sliced tomato, 60ml reduced-fat feta cheese, basil and 15ml calorie-reduced vinaigrette dressing. Snack 250ml strawberries with 15ml toasted oats and 5ml honey. Dinner 90g grilled chicken breast with 375ml sautéed red cabbage, 150ml mashed sweet potatoes and 250ml tabbouleh.
Breakfast Two wholewheat pancakes (10cm in diameter) with 10ml fruit spread (such as Waitrose reduced-sugar strawberry jam). 250ml low-fat yogurt with 125ml raspberries. Snack One apple. Lunch 250ml lentil soup (try Baxters Healthy Choice Spicy Lentil and Vegetable) with two large wholewheat crackers, such as Fox's Wholemeal Crackers. 375ml coleslaw. Snack One orange. Medium low-fat latte. Dinner Stir-fry: 250ml steamed spinach sautéed with 200g soft tofu, sliced carrots, 150ml cooked brown rice and 15ml oyster sauce.
Breakfast 175ml cooked oatmeal (such as Quaker Instant Cinnamon Spice) with 15ml ground flaxseeds (such as Hodgson Mill Milled Flaxseeds) and 125ml blueberries. 250ml low-fat milk. Snack One grapefruit. Green tea.
Lunch Two chicken kebabs (90g) with four stuffed vine leaves and one roasted tomato. 500ml spinach salad tossed with 250ml sliced raw vegetables and 15ml calorie-reduced vinaigrette dressing. Snack Smoothie: blend 125ml each low-fat milk and yogurt, strawberries and pure pomegranate juice (such as Masafi or Dynamic Health pomegranate juice). Dinner
Breakfast One hard-boiled egg with one slice of wholegrain toast and 5ml non-hydrogenated margarine (such as Flora Original). 125ml pure pomegranate juice. Snack 250ml low-fat yogurt. Lunch Salmon sandwich: 60ml canned salmon with 15ml reduced-fat mayonnaise (such as American Garden Light), seven walnuts and dill on one slice of rye bread. 500ml spinach salad tossed with 250ml sliced raw vegetables and 15ml calorie-reduced vinaigrette dressing.
Snack Two large wholewheat crackers, as before, with 30g cheese. Dinner 125ml stewed lentils with 150ml brown rice and 250ml roasted cauliflower. Mango lassi: blend 250ml low-fat milk with 125ml diced mango and 15ml toasted pistachios.
Breakfast 175ml high-fibre cereal (such as Kellogg's Bran Flakes or Kashi Go Lean) with 250ml low-fat milk and one banana. Green tea. Snack 12 baby carrots with 60ml hummus. Lunch Pomegranate salad: 500ml spinach tossed with 60ml pomegranate seeds, 125ml chickpeas, one hard-boiled egg, 125ml diced papaya and 15ml calorie-reduced vinaigrette dressing. Snack 250 low-fat yogurt with 250ml raspberries and 15ml toasted wheatgerm. Dinner 90g grilled lamb with 30ml fruit chutney (such as Waitrose Spicy Peach Chutney), 250ml coleslaw, 150ml quinoa and 250ml tabbouleh.
Breakfast French toast: two slices of wholegrain bread with one egg, 15ml milk and cinnamon. 250ml sliced strawberries. Snack Medium low-fat latte. Two kiwi fruit. Lunch Chicken wrap: half a small wholewheat Arabic bread stuffed with 60g grilled chicken breast, 60ml hummus, red capsicum, spinach and tomato. Snack 250ml low-fat yogurt, four dates. Dinner 90g grilled hammour with eight roasted Brussels sprouts and 150ml cooked brown rice. 500ml spinach salad tossed with 250ml sliced raw vegetables and 15ml calorie-reduced vinaigrette dressing.
Breakfast Half a small wholewheat Arabic bread with 125ml low-fat labneh, one hard-boiled egg and one apple. Snack Hot cocoa: 250ml low-fat milk heated with 15ml cocoa powder. Lunch Walnut pear salad: 500ml spinach tossed with one sliced pear and four walnuts, 5ml each lemon juice and walnut oil. One slice wholegrain bread with 5ml non-hydrogenated margarine. 250ml low-fat yogurt.
Snack 750ml air-popped popcorn (homemade or from a package, such as American Garden Light or Orville Redenbacher's Light Butter). Dinner 90g grilled prawns tossed with 250ml cooked wholewheat pasta, 250ml sautéed spinach, tomato, garlic and fresh basil. For bigger appetites, choose any five of the following antioxidant-rich add-ons each day: 150ml low-fat labneh, 85ml cooked beans or lentils, one piece of fruit, 30g cheese, four dates, one egg, 125ml cooked brown rice, 60ml hummus or 500ml mixed vegetables.
Next week: Calcium